Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature

Kasuga-san with Iowa class ring at International House
Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture, Kendall Heitzman, tells the story of Hiroyuki "Larry" Kasuga (M.S. industrial engineering, '53), a 93-year-old Iowa alum who is bringing alumni together in Tokyo, Japan. This past summer, after a week of touring the University of Iowa’s study-abroad partner programs in Japan, our delegation joined Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas for an impromptu alumni gathering at a hotel in central Tokyo. We were not sure who would show up on such short notice, but about twenty alums did. The hotel had failed to provide us with any chairs, and I worried about one man in particular, who leaned lightly on a cane and in his self-introduction had mentioned that he was 92. I needn’t have worried; for over three hours, Hiroyuki “Larry” Kasuga (M.S. industrial engineering, ’53) made his way around the room, introducing himself and eager to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and to hear the latest word from his beloved Iowa.

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Come celebrate with us as Ms. Sawako Kojima, of the Japan Information Center and Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago, presents the Japan Foundation Institutional Project Support Program in Japanese Studies to the University of Iowa.

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With rising interest in Chinese and South Korean studies, many universities across the U.S. fear waning enrollment in Japanese studies. The UI, however, has managed to buck the trend, with Japanese studies enrollment numbers on the rise the past 3 years.

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Douglas Baker, a senior majoring in piano and Japanese at the University of Iowa, has received a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to further pursue his research abroad in a project titled, “The Japanese Style in Taijiro Goh’s Piano Music.” In this project, Douglas will gain access to unpublished compositions in archives held in Japan, where he plans to explore the methods Taijiro Goh used in order to express a Japanese style in his compositions. Goh was notably recognized as the composer of Japan’s first violin concerto in 1935.

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